Biography of Walter Allen Jones
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This gentleman is the senior member of the law firm of Jones & Morphy, of Wallace, and holds a position of distinctive precedence at the bar of northern Idaho, by reason of his eminent ability as counsel and advocate. He was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, May 5, 1855, and is a son of Joseph D. and Catherine A. (Kaercher) Jones, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania and spent their entire lives in that state, as had their ancestors since early colonial days. The father died at the age of forty-five years, and the mother was called to her final rest when seventy-three years of age.
The subject of this review was reared and educated in the common schools of Pottsville and further continued his studies in the Paschal Institute, at that place. Determining to prepare for the bar, he began familiarizing himself with the principles of jurisprudence in 1874, as a student in the law office of the Hon. W. H. M. Oram, of Shamokin, Pennsylvania. He was admitted to the bar at Sunsbury, Pennsylvania, January 15, 1878, and immediately afterward began practice, spending one year in Mount Carmel, and then removing to Shamokin, where he practiced from 1879 until the close of the year 1885. In January 1886, he came to the Coeur d’Alene country and took up his abode in Murray, Shoshone County, where through the summer he engaged in mining. Since the autumn of that year he has been in active practice in all of the civil and federal courts of the state, and in November 1897, was admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, and in October, 1892, had been admitted to practice in the United States circuit court of appeals, at San Francisco, California. He is regarded as one of the leading lawyers of the northwest, and much important litigation has been entrusted to his care.
In politics Mr. Jones was a Republican until 1892, since which time he has been identified with the People’s party. He has been honored with a number of official positions, he was elected city auditor of Shamokin, Pennsylvania, in 1875, serving for two years; in 1879 was elected police magistrate of the same city, and acceptably filled that position for five years: and he received the unanimous nomination of the Republican party for state senator from the fourteenth district of Pennsylvania, but declined the honor proffered him. In 1886 he was elected district attorney of Shoshone county, Idaho, and during his term of service prosecuted some of the noted criminal cases of the state. He conducted the prosecution at the trial of ex-Sheriff Teddy Guthrie and of Patrick McGown, county commissioner, both of whom were convicted. In 1889 Mr. Jones removed to Wallace and conducted the litigation which arose from the locating of the town site by Colonel Wallace. He has been elected city attorney of Wallace for four successive terms, and in addition to his official duties has all the time carried on a large and important private practice. He prepares his cases with great care and precision and in the courtroom marshals his facts and evidence with all the ability of a general on the field of battle. His manner is always courteous to judge, jury and witnesses, yet he never loses sight of a point that will advance his client’s interests, and has won many forensic triumphs.
On the 1st of January 1880, Mr. Jones married Miss Frances M. Thomas, at Wilkesbarre, in the famous Wyoming valley of Pennsylvania, which was the home of her parents and had been the ancestral place of residence of the family for more than a century. She is a member of the Episcopal Church and is a cultured lady who shares in the high regard in which her husband is uniformly held.